Rio M, BOARDS (UK), June 2010

“Bridging the gap between planing board and light wind longboards, blurring the line between stable entry level boards and progressive freeride boards, the RIO is board that cover the widest scope of user in all wind condition. Its long and wide shape provides plenty of stability of even the most nervous beginners, and also a fast , smooth glide in light winds. For advance rider the longer, narrower shape combined with the in board heel-recesses and soft daggerboard allows the board to power upwind of the leeward rail. As the windspeeds oncreases the RIO’s unique wide tail, derived from Formula racing boards, provides the early planing, high speeds and high performance racing fun. Available is three sizes : S 175L, M 195L, and L215L.”

The RIO is an excellent board for a range of sailor weights. It’s a very stable platform, but for absolute beginners the deck isn’t quite as forgiving as one that’s flat all over. The EVA is very comfortable underfoot, and fine for falling on and hauling yourself back up on the board. The draggerboard operates easily with your hands, but isn’t quite as comfortable with bare feet. The RIO tracks upwind really well due to its waterline length, making it easy for beginners to stay upwind and get back to their starting point. It also turns very easily, marking tacking and gybing a simple task even for beginners. The rig package is pretty high quality, with a lightweight carbon mast, a nice boom and a light sail, which is easy to rig and very forgiving on the water, making learning as easy as possible. For the progressing sailor the deck is very well engineered, giving the most comfortable ride out if all of the boards in both the training and placebo straps. It planes relatively well and offers plenty of opportunities for the rider to learn new skills and gain confidence before moving on to their next board. The rig will also last the sailor through their early years, and could easily remain in an intermediate’s quiver for some time.

Length – 275cm Width – 80.5cm Volume – 195L Weight – 14kg

A comfortable board for learning the basics and progressing through to the next level, with a rig package that will last quite a few years. Although the deck isn’t as comfortable for your first few attempts, you soon get used to it, and you’ll be thanking your lucky stars later on when you’re getting your feet in those straps.

To go to the 2013 Rio page, click here